Midterm elections are just a 11 days away. Here are races on the ballot for Nov. 6.
NOTE: Candidate statements for local races of contention can be found at the end of this story and are grouped by  the office or post being sought.


U.S. Senate
Incumbent: Deb Fischer, Republican, elected in 2012.
Challengers: Jane Raybould, Democrat, grocer (family owns Super Saver and Russ’ markets).
Jim Schultz, Libertarian, information technology.

U.S. Congress
Incumbent: Jeff Fortenberry, Republican, elected in 2004.
Challenger: Jessica McClure, Democrat, chemist /government regula-tor/attorney.


Governor/Lt. Governor
Incumbent: Pete Ricketts and Mike Foley, Republicans, elected in 2014.
Challenger: Bob Krist and Lynne Walz, Democrats, state legislators.

Secretary of State
Incumbent: John Gale, who is not seeking re-election
Candidates: Bob Evnen, Republican, attorney.
Spencer Danner, Democrat, emergency response management consultant.

Incumbent: Don Stenberg, who is not seeking re-election.
Candidate: John Murante, Republican, Nebraska state senator.

Attorney General
Incumbent: Doug Peterson, Republican, elected 2014.

Auditor of Public Accounts
What the job is: The State Auditor provides an independent and objective assessment of the State of Nebraska's governmental operations.
 The Auditor of Public Account's (APA) office reviews budgets, audits county courts, state colleges and other agencies.
Incumbent: Charlie Janssen, Republican, elected in 2014.
Challenger: Jane Skinner, Democrat, librarian.

Public Service Commissioner
What the job is: The Nebraska Public Service Commission is an elected state executive position in the Nebraska state government. The chairman serves as head of the five-member commission.

The commission regulates railroads, household goods and passenger carriers, telephone companies, grain warehouses and construction of manufactured homes.
Incumbent: Frank E. Landis Jr., who is not seeking re-election.
Challengers: Dan Watermeier, Republican, Nebraska state senator.
Christa Yoakum, Democrat, program coordinator at Nebraska Appleseed.


County Assessor
Incumbent: Christi Smallfoot, Republican, appointed in 2017.

County Attorney
Incumbent: David J. Partsch, Republican, appointed in 2007.

County Clerk
Incumbent: Janene Bennett, who is not seeking re-elections.
Candidate: Jennifer K. Bassinger.

Clerk of District Court
Incumbent: Janis A. Riege, Republican.

County Treasurer
Incumbent: Nicki Kreifels Baker, Democrat.

Register of Deeds
Incumbent: Janet Reed, who is not seeking re-election.
Candidate: Ruth Ann Waddle, Republican, deputy register of deeds.

County Sheriff
Incumbent: James Gress, who is not seeking re-election.
Challengers: Jeffrey Lant, Republican, Nebraska City Police Department Sergeant.
Colin Caudill, Democrat, Otoe County Sheriff’s Deputy.

County Surveyor
Incumbent: David L. Schmitz, Democrat, elected in 1994.

County Public Defender
Incumbent: Michael Ziskey, Democrat.

County Commissioner District 1
Incumbent: Ron Hauptmann, who is not seeking re-election.
Challengers: James A. Thurman, Republican, business owner.
Robert Earll, Democrat, paramedic.

County Commissioner District 2
Incumbent: Rick Freshman, Republican, appointed in 2009.

County Commissioner District 3
Incumbent: Jerad Sornson, Democrat, elected in 2014.

Nebraska Legislature, District 2
Incumbent: Robert Clements, Republican, appointed in 2017.
Challenger: Susan D. Lorenee, Democrat, lead process analyst, telecommunications industry

State Board of Education, District 5
Incumbent: Patricia H. Timm, Republican, elected in 2004.
Challenger: Maris Bentley, Republican, retired teacher and school counselor.

Board of Regents, University of Nebraska, District 5
Incumbent: Rob Schafer, appointed in 2013.
Challenger: Robert J. Prokop, forensic pathologist and medical consultant.

Judge of the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court
Incumbents: Julie A. Martin and James Michael Fitzgerald.

Board of Governors, Southeast Community College, District 2
Candidate: Keith Hammons.

Board of Directors, Nemaha Natural Resources District
Incumbents: J. Duane Sugden (Subdistrict 2); Doug Iske (Subdistrict 3); Kevin L. Thorne (Subdistrict 5); Russel Moss (At-Large Director).
Note: Subdistrict 4 is an open seat, but no candidates filed to be on the ballot.

Board of Directors, Lower Platte South Natural Resources District
Incumbents: Mark G. Spangler (Subdistrict 2) and David M. Landis (At-Large Director).

Educational Service Unit 3
Incumbents: Brett Kuhn  (District 5) and Phil Wright (District 7).

Educational Service Unit 4
Incumbents: Gary Schaffer (District 7) and Faye Allison Hayes (District 9).

Educational Services Unit 6
Incumbents: Eric Malina (District 5) and Sandy Blankenship (District 7).

The following are candidate statements for Otoe County Board of Commissioners and Otoe County Sheriff.

Otoe County Commission—District 1

Robert Earll
Hello my name is Robert Earll and I am excited for the opportunity to be your next commissioner.  I work with Nebraska City Fire Rescue full time and reside in Nebraska City with my wife of 17 years and two kids.  I am a conservative Nebraskan with an agricultural background and feel with my experience I can bring better efficiency, transparency and good common sense with experienced in decision making to our county.

Jim Thurman
I am a life long resident of Otoe County and I have lived in rural Otoe County for the past 20 years.  I have owned a successful business for the past 37 years and served on both River City Economic Development Corporation and the Nebraska City Chamber of Commerce.  I feel my business experience and strong relationships with current city, county and economic development officials will enable me to strengthen and increase our tax base through new jobs and new housing in our communities and our rural county.

Otoe County Sheriff

Jeffrey Lant
Hi, my name is Jeff Lant, I’m running for Otoe County Sheriff and I’d appreciate your vote on November 6th.  I’m an experienced law enforcement professional with over 21-years of law enforcement experience, of which the last 14-years have been as a Nebraska City Police Sergeant.  I am an Air Force Veteran, a successful business owner, a husband, father, community leader, and life long resident of Otoe County.  I have your communities’ best interests at heart and will work to both serve and protect them.  

Colin Caudill
I believe the voters of Otoe County should cast their vote for me as their next Otoe County Sheriff based off of my 18 years of Sheriff’s Office training, hands-on experience and knowledge of the of the Sheriff’s Office both as a deputy sheriff, a former Chief Deputy, and an administrator. As the only candidate with Sheriff’s Office experience, I have the understanding of all of the duties of the Sheriff’s Office including but not limited to the management of the jail, prisoner transports, county 911 center, countywide radio communications and paging systems, court security, the serving of all court documents, managing the county’s sex offender registry, and law enforcement. I have the full support and endorsements of Otoe County Sheriff James Gress, Chief Deputy Mike Holland, Jail Administrator Mike Riege and Nemaha County Sheriff Brent Lottman because of their full confidence in my abilities and vision for the future of Otoe County.
I believe the communities and citizens of Otoe County deserve a qualified and experienced sheriff candidate to serve them and lead the Office with professionalism, integrity and trust and I would be honored to do so.